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      Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production

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          Abstract

          Background

          Microalgae are gaining importance as sustainable production hosts in the fields of biotechnology and bioenergy. A robust biomass accumulating strain of the genus Monoraphidium (SAG 48.87) was investigated in this work as a potential feedstock for biofuel production. The genome was sequenced, annotated, and key enzymes for triacylglycerol formation were elucidated.

          Results

          Monoraphidium neglectum was identified as an oleaginous species with favourable growth characteristics as well as a high potential for crude oil production, based on neutral lipid contents of approximately 21% (dry weight) under nitrogen starvation, composed of predominantly C18:1 and C16:0 fatty acids. Further characterization revealed growth in a relatively wide pH range and salt concentrations of up to 1.0% NaCl, in which the cells exhibited larger structures. This first full genome sequencing of a member of the Selenastraceae revealed a diploid, approximately 68 Mbp genome with a G + C content of 64.7%. The circular chloroplast genome was assembled to a 135,362 bp single contig, containing 67 protein-coding genes. The assembly of the mitochondrial genome resulted in two contigs with an approximate total size of 94 kb, the largest known mitochondrial genome within algae. 16,761 protein-coding genes were assigned to the nuclear genome. Comparison of gene sets with respect to functional categories revealed a higher gene number assigned to the category “carbohydrate metabolic process” and in “fatty acid biosynthetic process” in M. neglectum when compared to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Nannochloropsis gaditana, indicating a higher metabolic diversity for applications in carbohydrate conversions of biotechnological relevance.

          Conclusions

          The genome of M. neglectum, as well as the metabolic reconstruction of crucial lipid pathways, provides new insights into the diversity of the lipid metabolism in microalgae. The results of this work provide a platform to encourage the development of this strain for biotechnological applications and production concepts.

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          Most cited references40

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          Rapid isolation of high molecular weight plant DNA.

          A method is presented for the rapid isolation of high molecular weight plant DNA (50,000 base pairs or more in length) which is free of contaminants which interfere with complete digestion by restriction endonucleases. The procedure yields total cellular DNA (i.e. nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA). The technique is ideal for the rapid isolation of small amounts of DNA from many different species and is also useful for large scale isolations.
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            Microalgae for oil: strain selection, induction of lipid synthesis and outdoor mass cultivation in a low-cost photobioreactor.

            Thirty microalgal strains were screened in the laboratory for their biomass productivity and lipid content. Four strains (two marine and two freshwater), selected because robust, highly productive and with a relatively high lipid content, were cultivated under nitrogen deprivation in 0.6-L bubbled tubes. Only the two marine microalgae accumulated lipid under such conditions. One of them, the eustigmatophyte Nannochloropsis sp. F&M-M24, which attained 60% lipid content after nitrogen starvation, was grown in a 20-L Flat Alveolar Panel photobioreactor to study the influence of irradiance and nutrient (nitrogen or phosphorus) deprivation on fatty acid accumulation. Fatty acid content increased with high irradiances (up to 32.5% of dry biomass) and following both nitrogen and phosphorus deprivation (up to about 50%). To evaluate its lipid production potential under natural sunlight, the strain was grown outdoors in 110-L Green Wall Panel photobioreactors under nutrient sufficient and deficient conditions. Lipid productivity increased from 117 mg/L/day in nutrient sufficient media (with an average biomass productivity of 0.36 g/L/day and 32% lipid content) to 204 mg/L/day (with an average biomass productivity of 0.30 g/L/day and more than 60% final lipid content) in nitrogen deprived media. In a two-phase cultivation process (a nutrient sufficient phase to produce the inoculum followed by a nitrogen deprived phase to boost lipid synthesis) the oil production potential could be projected to be more than 90 kg per hectare per day. This is the first report of an increase of both lipid content and areal lipid productivity attained through nutrient deprivation in an outdoor algal culture. The experiments showed that this marine eustigmatophyte has the potential for an annual production of 20 tons of lipid per hectare in the Mediterranean climate and of more than 30 tons of lipid per hectare in sunny tropical areas.
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              Second Generation Biofuels: High-Efficiency Microalgae for Biodiesel Production

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central
                1471-2164
                2013
                28 December 2013
                : 14
                : 926
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biology/Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Universitätsstrasse 27, Bielefeld 33615, Germany
                Article
                1471-2164-14-926
                10.1186/1471-2164-14-926
                3890519
                24373495
                e530787a-a88c-4d93-ac41-71f6a7032535
                Copyright © 2013 Bogen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 25 July 2013
                : 19 December 2013
                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics
                m. neglectum genome,neutral lipid accumulation,biofuels,lipid metabolism
                Genetics
                m. neglectum genome, neutral lipid accumulation, biofuels, lipid metabolism

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